Masking little kids

Will your smallest children wear masks? Have you found particular products (either masks or faceshields) that work best for little kids? How about motivational techniques to help kids want to wear masks?

In many places, mask mandates apply to kids over age 2. When schools try to reopen in the fall, they are also likely to require masks, but it’s unclear which products are best for kids or how to get them to comply.



  • Comments (4)

    • 9

      I’ve found that my kids get really into the masks that have animal faces or clever slogans on them. They really like a mask with say, a cartoon bear muzzle on it, or there’s another one with the words “if you can read this, you’re too close.” So I don’t have a problem getting them to mask up if they think the mask is cute. (I have three elementary-school-aged girls.)

    • 9

      Hi Zev! I had success making special masks for the children I love. Cute patterns with dogs on them, etc. For smaller children, I’ve made matching masks for myself, and we’ve practiced taking them off and putting them back on while still inside (like a peek-a-boo game)!

      I also find it helpful to involve beloved toys or stuffed animals whenever children have to wear or try something new. Perhaps you could ‘dress up’ the stuffed animals in masks, and show them that the toys are still there and happy when you take the mask off.

    • 10

      Oh, and we also just published an article about face shields and masks. In it, one of our writers (who’s also an advanced practice nurse!) said face shields are only recommended with masks: https://theprepared.com/blog/face-shields-or-masks-covid/

    • 6

      Some friends with kids 2-10 years old have successfully ‘trained’ their kids to not fidget with the mask, complain, and so on. They described it as similar to potty training in that they didn’t assume they would suddenly train the kid in one day and it’s perfect forever. Rather, with the “back to school” deadline in mind, they started off small and with positive reinforcement keep moving the kids into longer and longer periods of wearing masks. At first the young kids would get antsy after a few minutes, but now they’re up to a few hours.

    • 2

      This silicone ‘under-mask’ has been an absolute game changer for my 2.5 year old son. We started having him wear a mask while grocery shopping a little before his second birthday. He would end up sucking on it, resulting in a huge wet circle over his mouth and nose rendering the mask useless and unsafe. There were also times he would just pull his mask off. He would maybe wear it 15 minutes tops.

      Since we bought this we no longer have the wet mask issue and he will wear it for over an hour. I think the longest was 2 hours at the aquarium. He doesn’t mess with it or complain. It’s been really great for us. The other day at the grocery store, I forgot the silicone part and the wet issue returned, so I do think it makes a difference.